nowcar-car-buying-walkthrough

How to Buy a Car Online within Your Budget with NowCar

Written By, Jordan R.

Searching, building, and buying a new car is quite the adventure, and at NowCar we’re revolutionizing the way people purchase and customize vehicles. NowCar allows users to shop, build, buy, or lease a new car from the comfort of their own home. The new car is then delivered for free.

To make the experience as user-friendly and effective as possible, NowCar offers users three different ways to shop for a car -- by price, by make, or by feature. So to help our users optimize their shopping and building process, here’s a complete walkthrough of the site for those shopping by price. Ready?

Go to the Website

If you’re reading this, then you’re already on our blog site. To get to the homepage however, you may have noticed the floating menu icons at the top of the page. You may also notice a pop-up labeled “SAVE MONEY.” To be alerted of new savings opportunities, fill out the form and click “Submit.” Otherwise, click the down-arrow in the top right of the pop-up to minimize. Now, click the “Home” button at the far left.

Navigation

At the top of the page, there is a floating menu that has seven buttons to help you navigate the website. Five of them have hover text and a direct link to a new page. The two that don’t, the “question mark” and the “arrow” have dropdown menus. The arrow button takes you to a register/login screen if you are a guest or haven’t already logged in.

Once on the homepage, all you need to do is click the “Get Started” button in the middle. But first! Take a look at that credit/zip code widget we have at the top right. For first-time users, a zip code may already be automatically generated, but by clicking on the widget, you should enter your zip code and credit estimate (see below). This information helps us provide you with delivery information and more accurate monthly payments. At this time, we deliver vehicles to select areas. If we don’t deliver to your zip code, you can sign up for our newsletter to be notified when your area becomes available.

If you know your credit score, you can also select it in the widget. If you don’t know your score, make as close as an estimate as you can. By selecting your credit score, the payments we show you as you shop and browse will be more accurate. If you don’t know it or don’t want to provide it, you can skip this. You can also complete our credit application, which is accessible by clicking the Start Credit Application button. Just remember the payments will vary depending on your score once provided.

How to Research, Shop and Buy with the Paths

Ready to start shopping and browsing for your next car? Let’s search “by price” so you can shop within your means. To access the “by price” shopping path, click on the “Get Started” button in the middle of the page. Once you click on that, you will see the three shopping paths, including “price and payment.” Click on it.

By Price

Once you have selected “by price,” you’ll be greeted with a new page with three windows - The header specifying the section you’re on (also highlighted in the tabs in the top left); a window to the left that will act as a checklist summarizing your options; and the main window, currently occupied by two options for shopping by payment -- monthly payment and total cost -- click on the option you prefer.  

After you select by monthly payment or total cost, a slider with price values on both sides of the slider appears. Though a certain price range is pre-selected, you can adjust it to your budget. You can set your lowest to highest by sliding the respective slider or entering a numerical value in the boxes. If want to get very specific on your monthly payment amounts, you can also type right into the text fields. Once you have made the necessary adjustments, click “NEXT” on the left side of the page.

You will then come to the “Body Styles” page, where you can narrow down your search to one body style or select as many as five body styles. Once you have selected the desired body style(s), click “NEXT” on the left side of the page.

You will then come to the “Features” page. Two features are pre-selected (gasoline and automatic transmission). You can select up to five additional must-have features. It is important to note that the features first presented are our “most popular” features, but there are other feature groups including: safety, technology, seating, convenience, fuel, transmission, drivetrain, and entertainment.

Furthermore, if you don’t want your search to include our pre-selected option of an automatic transmission, you can omit the selection by clicking on the “transmission” group and selecting the transmission you want. If you don’t want your search to include a gasoline engine, you can omit the selection by clicking on the “fuel” group and select your desired fuel type. Keep in mind however, pending on your fuel-type and/or transmission, some features may become unavailable, as will some pending on your body style i.e. rear-sliding doors on minivans.

After you have spent time looking through all of the feature groups and have picked out your must-have features, click “NEXT” on the left side of the page

Vehicles

Voila -- here are the vehicles that matched your parameters! Nice right? You’ll notice the window to the left has drastically changed. It shares semblance with many retail websites, with a list to narrow down your options, including the option to narrow down options by delivery time.

You’ll also notice a lot of information is listed under each vehicle available:

  • Year, Make and Model
  • NowCar Price ( rebates included*)
  • MSRP / Invoice / Edmunds True Market Value Price Comparison
  • Estimated Price to Finance or Lease the vehicle

As you can see from this page, to make the shopping and research experience a bit better, NowCar does something other new car website don’t do. We allow our users to compare different cars from different brands, and show you the NowCar price compared with other prices, and the finance or lease payments..

When on the results page, you are shown a variety of makes, and then you can compare trims, or if you find a model you like, you can click on that model to go straight to the trims page by clicking “View Trims” under your desired vehicle.

You can find the “Compare Vehicles” option In the upper-left corner of the results page, click it, then select the vehicles from your search results, and them “COMPARE” to compare them side-by-side. You can always click “Add Vehicles” to compare others, “Only Show Differences” to trim down the specs page, or start over by clicking “CLEAR COMPARE.”

Once you have selected a specific car trim, a new screen appears and this is our summary page. Here, you can pick the color of your car’s exterior, pick out special packages like premium sound, make some upgrades, confirm your choices, etc. To make some changes, simply click the “Customize” button next to the appropriate option. For now, click the button next to “Selected Options.”

Now you’re at the options page. You have several sections you can browse through and pick from to personalize your car. Every vehicle trim will have a different set of options.

For example, the 2016 Dodge Dart Limited has the following options: Engine, transmission, an upgrade package, wheels, seating trim, additional equipment, emission system, the offer of a spare tire, and radio. Other categories may include: interior color; port installations such as wheel locks, cargo storage, various packages and accessories. Additional equipment may refer to a premium audio system, custom auto parts by Mopar, performance parts, and other components.

You can see the impact different options will have on your price immediately, and this way you can stay within your means while personalizing your vehicle with the must-haves and options you desire. Once you’re set, you can click “Go To Summary” and move on. Your selected options will now be displayed under “Selected Options” with the respective charge(s) and final total.

Another great feature is a comprehensive Explore page, which is a page for every car that has an in-depth description with reviews and photos. You can access every explore page from the summary page by clicking “explore this vehicle” below the vehicle’s make and model at the top of the window.

Payment Options

Alright, so let’s say you found the car you want and you have selected all of the features you want and you are ready to buy it, here’s how you start to finalize the purchase. First you will need to decide if you are going to finance, lease or pay cash for your car.  Here, you can also adjust the term of your loan or lease to see how that affects your monthly payment amount. Here you will also need to determine how much you’ll put down. Almost always, there will be some amount down that is required. You can add more if you wish. If you have not already completed the rebates questionnaire and a credit application, this would be a great time to do so. The rebates questionnaire will help us determine your price and your credit application will help determine the amount of your monthly payment as well as down payment amount.

Once you have made a payment method choice, click on that option (Select Payment Option).

Secure

Now you are on the Summary Details page, where we show you all the numbers - nothing hidden, everything disclosed.

Does all of the payment info look good? Here’s the final step to finalize the process. Once you’re ready, click “Secure Vehicle.” A $500 deposit is required. This is to protect you and us. We want to lock your car in so no one else can get it. You should know that this deposit is 100% refundable if you decide not to purchase the vehicle.

If you’re unsure, you can save your vehicle for later review by clicking “SAVE VEHICLE.”

Click “Secure Vehicle”. We accept VISA, Mastercard, and DISCOVER cards. Fill out the necessary information. Click “Secure Vehicle” one more time.

And that’s it. This car is yours.

The next step is that an Associate will contact you and start putting your deal together. There may be some documents required such as a current lease (for lease conquest rebate) or proof of military status for military rebate.

Congratulations! It will be at your door step in the timeframe we quoted.

*Here at NowCar, we do something no other dealership does. We have a rebates questionnaire that our customers can fill out. Once completed, an algorithm we designed will automatically let you know what rebates you qualify for (across all brands) based on the information provided, and will apply those rebates to your final cost. Just know that rebates vary depending on the month and manufacturer, and some of them can be stacked or combined a.k.a. more savings!

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